From the Head of Conlon House, Catherine O’Sullivan
It has been another busy term for the young men of Conlon House. The boys have continued to embrace all that the College has to offer; be it in their academic pursuits, their support of a wide range of social justice initiatives and their whole hearted participation in inter-house and co-curricular activities. Our young men have certainly lived up to the Conlon motto, ‘Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam’ – I’ll either find a way or make one.
I have been particularly impressed by our senior students in Years 10, 11 and 12 who continue to assist and mentor the younger boys. This may be as simple as; giving advice about the best way to organise a locker so that you are not running late to class because you cannot find that book you need, sitting down with a boy during mentor time and showing him how to use his diary effectively or even just asking how their day is going as they pass them in the playground. Sometimes a senior boy may even have to give a friendly reminder about appropriate behaviour in the playground all locker area. I think that no one is more surprised than our senior boys about how sensible it has been having all of Conlon House in the same locker area.
During the term, five new Mid Year Prefects were appointed. Congratulations to Daniel Harasta, (Conlon 10) who is a very worthy recipient of this honor. Daniel is showing great leadership and working hard alongside our Prefects and SRC members.
On Friday, 19 May, we celebrated our Conlon House Mass in the College Chapel with the theme Strength through Diversity – “Let your light shine in front of others” (Mt. 5:16) This was a very special opportunity for us to come together as a House to celebrate our faith and ‘belonging’ to our College community. Our spirituality prefect, Jackson Flynn gave a very thoughtful reflection, connecting his message with life at Waverley College. Jackson mentioned that “Diverse perspectives allow us to uncover the truth because diversity permits us to experience, identify and understand in different manners which in response creates different solutions”. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fr. Milani for his 23 years service as College Chaplain. Fr. Milani has been a great mentor to both staff and students.
Our assemblies this term have been held at the Junior school. Thank you to Ms Jenny Hoare and Mr Gill for their support. Many of the boys were returning to a familiar place – their Year 5 & 6 home, and for some this was their first opportunity to visit. Our assemblies this term have given all boys an opportunity to get to know each other better. Our Year 5 & 6 students are now paired with a Senior school mentor group and each has had the opportunity to share a little bit about themselves. At one assembly, Thomas Johnson and Lachlan Grant gave entertaining and informative accounts of the Year 6 Canberra trip and the Junior School fund raising Mufti and Activity day. At another assembly Mr Bryant and his mentor group (Conlon 10) shared with the group some of the activities that they have been doing during their mentor time. Alfie Sewell, Benjamin Smith and ‘Tiny’ Tim Eyles demonstrated their circle of trust exercises and then the whole group had fun joining in. We also held ‘The great Conlon coin challenge’ between the even year groups and the odd year groups to support our House charity ‘Eddie’s Camps’ This event was inspired by two of our amazing Conlon mentors; Mrs Mary Ryan and Mr Nick Brophy who, 20th May competed in the Ultra Trial Australia 100 km foot race in the Blue Mountains. They both finished this incredible feat of physical endurance, and were both still able to teach and walk on the following day. We thank Ms Ryan and Mr Brophy for raising over a $1000 for our charity. Special congratulations also to Mrs Falkinder’s mentor group (Conlon 7) who did a terrific job raising money for the Lenten Appeal.
During the term the boys have continued to focus on their studies. Years 7 to 10 completed their half-Yearly examinations. Early in the term, our students in Years 5, 7 & 9 also completed the nationwide NAPLAN testing. Early in term 3, the Year 8 and Year 10 students will be making important decisions about the subjects they will choose for study in 2018 and Year 11 will be completing their final examinations in their preliminary course for the HSC. Our Year 12 boys are continuing to work towards their final assessments and will spend a large part of these holidays studying and preparing for their Trials, which they will complete early next term. We wish them well.
These holidays are also an opportunity for all our boys to reflect on their Semester One achievements. It is an opportunity for them to evaluate where they are now and to set goals for the second half of the year: What do they want to achieve? How are they going to get there? Never be afraid to seek advice from peers, older boys, teachers and parents.
Conlon boys performed extremely well at the Inter-House athletics carnival. From the very first race, Conlon was in the lead. To everyone’s surprise (to my knowledge Conlon has never led or won an inter-house carnival for over 20 years) we continued to lead for the entire day, until the final event – the House chants. We came a very honourable second place. I would like to thank the following Year 12 boys; Matteo Panucci, Jackson Flynn, Joshua Donovan, Adam Hutchinson, Daniel Harasta, Ben Donaldson, Liam Cornish, Eden Rogers -Smith, Zac Conacher-Smith, Liam Wilson, Ryan Helm and Billy Cam who lead by example with their determination and spirit, and all day gave encouragement to our younger boys. There are too many outstanding performances to be made individually, however, special mention should be made of our talented Martin brothers who all won their Javelin events; Thomas (Year 7), Mackenzie (Year 10) and Luca (Year 11).
- Jonathan Schacht, Oliver and Jeremy Heys who all achieved outstanding results at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
- Daniel Gandy – 4th in the NSW u19 Cycling Championships. He will now complete in June at the national championships in Geelong.
- Zac Conacher-Smith – CAS Football
- Liam Cornish and Ben Donaldson (C) – CAS Rugby
- Josh Conacher-Smith – NSW Gymnastics Championships.
- Ryan Bakels – Theatresports
- Patrick Hoggett (Year 8), Joshua Cornelius (Year 9), Cooper Flyn (Year 10), Ash Backlund (Year 10) Da Vinci Decathlon.
As always, I would like to thank all the Conlon mentors for their unfailing support of our boys.
I thank the Prefects for their continuing leadership, even as their assessments and study expectations become more demanding.
Sadly, one of our mentors, Mr Chris Blenkinsopp (Conlon 11) became very sick in the second last week of term. Chris is an old boy of the college and has been teaching here for over twenty five years. We continue to keep Chris and his family in our prayers.
We say good-bye to Tommy Derham who will be leaving the College at the end of term. Tommy will be attending Snowy Mountains Grammar School in Cooma. We all wish him well.
My best wishes to you all for a wonderful and restorative break.